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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Sopa 2023: E-tolls permanently scrapped

Lesufi said the ministers of finance and transport will make a joint announcement.


Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi announced during his State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Monday that e-tolls have been permanently scrapped.

The premier explained that all the finer details would be ironed out in the near future.

Joint announcement

“Together with the Minister of Finance and Transport, we will make a joint announcement in this regard. Together with national government, we are on the verge of agreeing on all matters that will finally allow us to agree on the paying methods and money collected from paying customers as well as funds collected from non-paying customers.

“We are of the strong view that this chapter and part of history in our province will now be buried and we will continue with our lives without e-tolls,” said Lesufi.

READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Panyaza Lesufi delivers Gauteng Sopa 2023 speech

History

In a statement on New Year’s Eve, Premier Lesufi’s office said “there would be no turning back on doing away with e-tolls.”

“Today, 31 December 2022, was pencilled as the day to deactivate the e-tolls billing system. However, due to the need to finalise key components of the MOU between the national government and the provincial government, the matter will be finalised in the new year.

“The Premier is thrilled by the progress made thus far by the technical team that has been assigned with deactivating the e-tolls billing system.”

Civil disobedience

Some motorists boycotted the tolling system, racking up bills running into thousands of Rands over the years. Many cited the poor state of alternative roads and an unreliable public transport system as reasons for non-payment.

The civil disobedience was backed by lobby groups such as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), which launched campaigns and court action against e-tolls.

Soon, the provincial government, various political parties and labour unions joined in boycotting the Gauteng Freeway Improvement System  GFIP system.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana had previously indicated that national government would be assuming 70% of Sanral’s debt, while Gauteng would be assuming 30%.

According to Lesufi’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, a notice to switch off e-tolls will be gazetted, with the actual switch-off taking place 14 days after.

“The gazette will be released in early 2023, as agreed by the national Department of Transport,” he said at the time.

ALSO READ: Gauteng e-tolls to be switched off early 2023 – Lesufi

*Additional reporting by: Getrude Makhafola